Wednesday of Holy Week
April 5, 2023
The Office of Tenebræ
Join us on Wednesday of Holy Week as we observe the Office of Tenebræ. The name Tenebræ (the Latin word for "shadows")
was originally given to the ancient monastic services of matins (celebrated after midnight) and lauds (celebrated at dawn) of the last three days of Holy Week. By the late
Middle Ages, these services were consolidated into a single daily celebration on each evening before Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
Following numerous 20th-century papal reforms, Tenebræ today is celebrated in many different forms, which can include the chanting of the Lamentations of Jeremiah,
in which each verse is introduced by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the gradual extinguishing of candles
and other lights in the church to signify the darkness that overshadowed the earth at Christ’s crucifixion. The loud noise, or strepitus, at the
conclusion of the service suggests the earthquake described in the Passion narratives. The single candle left burning is the symbol and promise of
Christ’s triumph over death and darkness.
The Cathedral Cantorei will sing the Lamentations of Jeremiah by Thomas Tallis
(c.1505–1585), Vinea mea electa by Francis Poulenc (1899–1963), the sublime Miserere mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri (c.1582–1652), and plainchant.
Father Michael G. Ryan, presider.
View the Order of Celebration
- The Cabrini Garage closes at 8pm and will NOT remain open for this
- Limited free parking (~65 spaces) is available in the O'Dea High School parking lot, entrances on Marion and Columbia Streets between Terry and Boren Avenues.
- Street parking is free after 8:00pm.
- Accessible parking is available on the west side of Terry Avenue, between Marion and Columbia.
- There is a small pay lot across the street from the Cathedral on 9th Avenue and a larger pay lot at 711 Madison Street.
If you park at a garage in the neighborhood, be sure to check the
St. James Cathedral is within a few blocks of a number of bus lines and the First Hill Streetcar. The #60 bus stops directly in front on 9th Ave.
To plan your trip, visit
(or 206-553-3000), or
and search for Terry Ave & Marion St, Seattle.
If you have any questions, please call the Music Office at 206-382-4874, or e-mail